Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)
TITLE: The Threshold
By Brian Passe
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I donít know what Heaven will be like, but I do know what I hope it will be like. I hope itís like the Garden of Eden. God created the Garden for man and woman to labor and love together. Adam and Eve tended the garden; did they pet the lions? The Garden was a beautiful place and probably full of peace. There were no cellphones, no meetings to rush off to and no busy body neighbors trying to find out the latest gossip.
My dream of Eden is a cool morning where I walk my dogs and visit with friends. My wife will be with me so Iíll always be home. I want to find my Grandpa Passe and hear more stories about WWI. He told the best stories and everyday I spent with him was a day with a hero. I want to find my brother and apologize for arguments that neither of us will remember. Iíll track down my dad and tell him I now understand his true strength. My mom will be with him and I just want to wrap my arms around her and tell her that weíre all together now.
I wonít know what Heaven will be like until I cross the threshold of eternity. That means I need to focus on where I am today. Today Iím home with my wife and dogs. My grandchildren are with their mom and dad. I had coffee with a friend this morning and may visit my grandchildren tomorrow. Wednesday night is church night and Sunday morning brings Sunday School and worship. I live in a small quiet neighborhood and each morning I watch the birds skip through the dew filled grass in search of worms. The cool early evenings allow me to sit and watch the golden day slowly turn into a starry, moonlit evening. Some would call this boring. I call it life.
Life, on earth, is often about choices. I can choose to be happy or angry; quiet or loud; rude or polite and love or hate. This is a very small list of choices I can make each day. The most important choice Iíve made in my life was to accept Jesus Christ into my heart. I did that almost twenty years ago; this year Iíll turn sixty. Before accepting Christ I chose to live according to my, or other menís, philosophies. The laws of men are turbulent and fluid; the laws of God are absolute. My life was turbulent and fluid before I accepted Christ. The truth changed so it could adjust to any situation I was involved in. With Christ there is no changing of the rules. The more Iíve studied Godís Word the more I realize that His laws are much simpler than manís, and much more effective.
Godís Word tells me to love the Lord with all my head, heart and soul; and to love my neighbor as myself. His Word is simple, but so difficult to live by each day. Simple doesnít mean easy. Christ offers to take my yoke of pain. I choose if I will give it to Him. We all know this and we all know how hard it is do it on this side of the threshold.
When I cross that threshold I expect that there will be no yoke of pain. There will be love and joy for sure, but I donít know what else will be there. As long as Iím on this side Iíll keep making choices. One of my choices is to imagine Heaven. I imagine cool mornings, gentle flowing creeks, my dogs, family and friends. I imagine enjoying every moment of existence. My image may be simple, but God gave me simple.
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